Since 2012, we have offered our Youth Enhancement Summer Program (YES!), now called STEM YES!, an intense summer program for at-risk, underrepresented Central Indiana students in grades 10-12 to explore STEM careers in a work-based environment. During STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) YES!, students develop competencies in teamwork, presentation skills, business planning, social etiquette, and customer service as they experience day-to-day work in the business lines of management, product/service development, marketing, finance, and operations. As students gain new understanding of all of these things, they also learn about businesses and careers within the various STEM fields and the skills required to take advantage of the opportunities.
We place students interested in experiencing a real work environment as part of their career exploration process with Central Indiana employers interested in developing a more diverse workforce. Our close ties to DirectEmployers Association have enabled us to form strong relationships with over 700 companies looking for linkages to talented future employees. We arrange for local employers to provide one day to one-week job shadowing opportunities, predominantly for students in grades 8-10. We also work to connect students in grades 11-12 with employers through semester-long internship opportunities.
We offer hands-on STEM educational programming for students in grades 8-12 at our STEM Learning Labs located on-site at select schools, community centers, and other flexible spaces. Students can visit the Learning Labs during school hours, after school, and in the summer, based on the needs of the individual student and the requirements of the student’s school. Learning Labs contain actual workplace equipment and replicate the corporate culture and business practices of our employer partners. This special program offers students the rare opportunity to gain valuable career readiness skills while working side-by-side with STEM professionals in their school environment.
“Thank you and everyone from DirectEmployers Foundation for allowing Keshon to be a part of the program. He really enjoyed everything he learned and I think this program was one of the best he has ever been a part of. Thank you all for the time, effort and gifts that you put into this program. This program will truly make a difference in the lives of all those that were able to attend.”
Tyjuana Griffin – STEM YES! Program